What is a Truckload?

Truckloads generally refer to a 48’ or 53’ truck.

Truckloads usually cost a flat rate to ship, based on the destination and mileage, irrespective of whether the truck is full or half empty.

Larger orders that cannot be shipped economically as LTL’s can often be cheaper to ship as a full load.

Truckloads can be ordered with or without a lift-gate. Trucks with lift-gates can often be costly and it may be cheaper to rent a forklift for a day to assist you in unloading the truck. The latter is especially true when the merchandise is travelling long distances.

Typically, 26 pallets can fit comfortably onto the floor of a 53’ truck bed with no double-stacking. Many types of pallets can be double-stacked however, to allow between 26-52 pallets to be put on the truck, minimizing your overall landed cost per pallet.
Some goods can be consolidated further or even hand-loaded (for example, a 70 pallet load may be able to be consolidated into 52 pallets; or 2 full loads may be able to be hand-loaded into a single truck).

Some things to note if you are receiving a full truckload of merchandise:

  • Make sure you can receive a 53 footer in your area (in terms of street size and parking & reversing availability)Make sure you have the means and ability to unload the truck.
  • You will most likely need to provide the vendor with the day(s) and time that you can receive the load and whether you need to be notified in advance of the truck’s arrival.
  • You typically have TWO (2) hours to unload the truck, and will be charged detention fees if the unloading takes longer. This is standard practice in the freight industry. Make sure you have the manpower available to help you unload in a timely manner.
  • Be aware that the shipping charges do not include any labor, and that the driver will not assist in the unloading of the truck (unless the truck is ordered with a lift-gate, in which case the driver will move the pallets to the rear and operate the lift-gate to lower the pallets to the curb)
  • Be aware that there is a SEAL with a UNIQUE number on each truck. Make sure the seal number matches the number on the packing slip you will receive with the load.
  • Most shipments can usually be moved OTR (over the road) on a regular truck, but occasionally, especially to distant locations, shipping by rail can be cheaper. Rail shipment procedures are the same as truckload procedures, but the shipping time is usually a bit longer. While truckloads can reach their destination within 1-6 business days, rail shipments can typically take around 10-15 days to arrive.

truckload fit

For ballpark truckload quotes for shipments FOB our warehouse in California to major cities around the USA, please click here.

One Response to “What is a Truckload?”

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